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Healthy Holidays

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Vol. 15 • Issue 3 • December 2017

Also Inside Healthy Holiday Options

Coping with Stress


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STAFF

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DECEMBER 2017: HEALTHY HOLIDAYS

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MASSAGE Become a Massage Therapist FAMILY VISION What is Behavioral Optometry?

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INTEGRATIVE MEDICINE The Mindful Gift of Loving Kindness

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YOGA Short Yoga Practices to Try Anywhere

Healthy Holiday Options

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FEATURES

Dr. Rick Graebe, FCOVD

FAMILY EYECARE ASSOCIATES AND VISION THERAPY

John A. Patterson MD, MSPH, FAAFP

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Making and Keeping New Year’s Resolutions

Lauren Weaver, RYT 200

MIND BODY STUDIO

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Stress and the Holidays

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Sensible Holiday Feasting

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Holiday Health & Wellness: Beating Those Holiday Blues

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Holiday Skin Care Tips

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PERSONAL TRAINING Improve Your Health With One Simple Step

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Don’t Let Toxic Decorations Dampen Your Holiday Spirit

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NATURE'S BEAUTY Mistletoe

LEXINGTON HEALING ARTS ACADEMY

Raleigh M. Kincaid, LMFT

FAMILY PRACTICE ASSOCIATES OF LEXINGTON, P.S.C.

Lucy Hendricks

LEXINGTON HEALING ARTS ACADEMY

Bruce Maples, Sales & Community Outreach Coordinator LIBERTY RIDGE

Kim Wade, Community Relations Director MILWARD FUNERAL DIRECTORS

ROCK POINT PUBLISHING Brian Lord / Publisher Kim Blackburn / Sales Representative Jennifer Lord / Customer Relations Specialist Barry Lord / Sales Representative Anastassia Zikkos / Sales Representative Kim Wade / Sales Representative Janet Roy / Graphic Designer

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Radical Holidays

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Jeff Zutant

Staying Fit and Healthy During the Holidays

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COLUMNISTS/GUESTS

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FAMILY DOC Feeling S.A.D. During the Holiday Season? You’ll Be O.K.

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SENIOR LIVING Life Enrichment Is Loads of Fun at Liberty Ridge

DEPARTMENTS

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Events Calendar

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Food Bites

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FUNERAL Finding Hope during the Holiday Season

ROCKPOINT

FROM THE

EDITOR

Harleena Singh TaNiqua Ward, M.S.

LEXINGTON HEALING ARTS ACADEMY

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CONTENTS

WRITERS

Angela S. Hoover Jean Jeffers Dr. Tom Miller

Tanya J. Tyler, Editor | Share your story: editor@healthandwellnessmagazine.net

Dear Friends, Are you ready for the holidays? No one ever is. I know of people who ambitiously plan to get started on shopping and preparation as early as August, but other things tend to get in the way and they end up just like the rest of us, scrambling around frantically from the beginning of November to Dec. 24. We love the holidays, but the stress that comes with it can dampen our holiday spirits. We’ve got a few articles in this issue specifically addressing holiday stress and how to cope with and even lessen it. One thing you can do is ponder what

is important to you at this time of year. What traditions do you and your family treasure? What is your goal: to impress others with the cost of the gifts you give or to create memories of being together at a special time of year? There’s no need to abandon your Health & Wellness goals as you celebrate. Be mindful, be safe, be good to yourself now and always. Here’s to your Health & Wellness!

Tanya

Publishing

Health&Wellness Magazine can be found in 20 central Kentucky counties and is distributed to over 90% of medical facilities, including chiroprator’s, eye doctor’s and dentist’s offices. You can also pick up your FREE copy of Health&Wellness at most grocery and convenience stores as well as many restaurants throughout Central KY. For advertising rates and to find out how to get YOUR article published:

859-368-0778 e-mail brian@rockpointpublishing.com © Copyright HEALTH&WELLNESS Magazine 2017. All rights reserved. Any reproduction of the material in this magazine in whole or in part without written prior consent is prohibited. Articles and other material in this magazine are not necessarily the views of Health&Wellness Magazine. Health&Wellness Magazine reserves the right to publish and edit, or not publish any material that is sent. Health&Wellness Magazine will not knowingly publish any advertisement which is illegal or misleading to its readers. The information in Health&Wellness should not be considered as a substitute for medical examination, diagnosis or treatment.

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December 2017

HEALTHY HOLIDAY OPTIONS PLANNING IN ADVANCE HELPS YOU STICK TO A HEALTHY DIET By TaNiqua Ward, M.S. Staff Writer The holidays are a wonderful time to gather with family and friends to celebrate. These celebrations often consist of many delicious treats and hardy meals. You can still maintain a healthy diet with a little thought and planning in advance. Research from a recent Web-based survey found 18 percent of people feel they cannot eat healthily during the holidays because they don’t want to miss out on their favorite foods. You can still eat the foods you enjoy this season, just in moderation. One important thing you can do is try to incorporate fruits and vegetables into your main meals. Adults who receive less than 30 minutes of physical activity a day should consume one and a half to two cups of fruit daily and two to three cups of vegetables daily, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Individuals who exercise regularly should consume even more fruits and vegetables. However, CDC studies have found that only 13 percent of adults in the United States consume the recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables. You can create many different meals to get them. Here are a few tips to promote healthy eating during the holidays: • Bring a healthy dish to gatherings. The party host will be

grateful for your help, and some party guests will appreciate a healthy option. • Keep your plate balanced by filling half with fruits and vegetables. Vegetables fill you up and make you less likely to overeat while fruits have natural sugars that can crush your desire for other sweets. Fruits and vegetables can be used to make pretty centerpieces for holiday celebrations, and they make great snacks. • Control your portions. Be conscious of how much food you place on your plate and pass on the second helping. Eat smaller portions and eat less often. There are always more opportunities to eat during the holidays. • Avoid sugary drinks; they are full of unnecessary extra calories. Choose water and low-calorie or unsweetened drinks instead. • Choose indulgences wisely. Browse the food options first and only select the ones you really want. Your indulgence should be something specially made or unique to this season. • Get up and get active. Bundle up and go outside to enjoy some fun outdoor family activities. Exercise can reduce holiday

There are always more opportunities to eat during the holidays.

stress and prevent weight gain. Increasing physical activity helps keep your metabolism going, allowing you to digest and burn more calories, and it can offset the increase of your holiday appetite as well.

This is the perfect time of year to appreciate the wonderful gift of health. Enjoy it and make the extra effort by committing to being healthy – now and all year long.

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December 2017

Staying Fit and Healthy During the Holidays HAVE FUN AND KEEP MOVING By Harleena Singh, Staff Writer

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If you are on an island or beach holiday, head to the water for your workouts. In the countryside or a city that has amazing parks, head out and explore by hiking, running, walking, biking. You may even look at horseback riding for a more adventurous twist.

Stay hydrated Drink six to eight glasses of water a day, and be sure to have two big glasses before a large, calorie-rich meal. To keep your liquid calories in check, alternate water and an alcoholic or sweetened beverage.

Don’t skip meals Eat a light, healthy meal a few hours before any holiday event. If you go most of the day without eating, you will be more likely to overeat and choose unhealthy options. A filling meal that will hold you over until your event should include both protein and fiber for extra staying power. It’s easy to overeat at holiday gatherings since there is usually a great variety of food. Eat slowly and listen to your hunger cues. If you are truly no longer hungry, avoid second helpings.

Choose alcoholic beverages with care If you want to have one or two cocktails, choose drinks you can sip slowly, such as a fine wine or bourbon. If you are looking for a mixed drink, vodka mixed with lime and seltzer water is another great low-calorie option.

With the holidays coming up, the highlight for many people during this season is gathering with family and friends and enjoying favorite holiday treats. Here are some tips that will help you enjoy your holidays to the fullest while not increasing your waistline. Eat a light,

Plan your day The holidays can disrupt your routine, so track your food intake and activity level. Even if you decide to eat higher-calorie healthy meal a Keep moving options, eat smaller portions and Try to avoid sitting for long periother adjustments to stay few hours before make ods and make efforts to stay active. within your daily caloric goals. If Research indicates getting up for you are attending a potluck, take any holiday just five minutes every 30 to 60 mina low-calorie dish so you have at event. utes and performing light activities least one healthy choice. Good (such as pacing around the house or options include a vegetable or performing simple squat exercises) fruit platter, hummus, black bean reduces the risk of diabetes and other heart dip or air-popped popcorn with a sprinkle of disease risk factors. Embrace the surroundings. your favorite seasoning.

Harness the power of technology If you don’t have time to join the local gym, you can access a variety of fitness apps that can help you squeeze in a workout during your downtime. You can try a health-tracking device to help you keep count of your steps, calories burned, etc. Don’t forget your DVD player is great for watching workout or yoga DVDs, or check out free online workouts. Get enough sleep Lack of sleep can derail your fitness efforts. First, you will be too tired to fit in your workout. Second, sleepiness can cause you to crave highsugar items in an attempt to gain more energy. Third, when you do not get enough sleep, your immune system may weaken and that can make you more susceptible to colds and flu.

Not ready for what? So many times the phrase “I am not ready for that yet” is often used when discussing senior living. At Legacy Reserve, we ask; not ready for what?

New friendships, planned adventures, incredible cuisine, an active lifestyle or an option to relax in your spacious apartment home are all available to our residents. With five dining options including Chandler’s, Bernard’s Sports Bar and the Bluegrass Bistro, theatre, in-door salt water pool, outdoor terrace and so much more, our residents have a plethora of opportunities to pursue the freedom to enjoy life.

Call (859) 286-5111 to schedule a personal visit & learn more about limited Grand Opening advantages. L E G A C Y R E S E RV E K Y. C O M | 2 7 0 0 M A N O ’ W A R B L V D . L E X I N G T O N , K Y 4 0 5 1 5

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MAKING AND KEEPING NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS LASTING CHANGE TAKES TIME By Angela S. Hoover, Staff Writer

Only 8 percent of individuals achieved their resolutions in 2016, according to Statistic Brain. This is likely due to most people having unrealistic expectations about the speed, is not something people are born Find simple challenges and make them happen. ease and consequences of the with; it must be developed like a resolutions they make. People muscle. Self-discipline is acquired attempting self-change rarely suchabits to emerge from time to Eve to choose a resolution. Life by willfully enduring the transient ceed the first time; most need time, but treat them as temporary changes of habits and attitudes are discomfort of changing who and five or six attempts, according to setbacks rather than total failure not as blithe as which shirt to don. what you are. a paper published in American and a reason to give up. Be patient with yourself. 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–COLUMN PROVIDED BY–

MASSAGE

Lexington Healing Arts Academy 859.252.5656 | www.lexingtonhealingarts.com 272 Southland Drive, Lexington, KY 40503

Visit us online to learn more!

Become a Massage Therapist PROVIDE HEALING EXPERIENCES AND ENJOY ABOVE-AVERAGE WORK LIFE BALANCE By Jeff Zutant Over the years many studies have shown a massage has amazing benefits to our overall wellness, such as reduced stress, improved range of motion and reduced pain. However, we rarely have a chance to discuss the benefits of giving a massage. Becoming a Licensed Massage Therapist (LMT) is an incredible journey, and often, an incredible career. Learning to become a massage therapist can benefit all age groups and walks of life; such as recent highschool graduates, single parents and even those looking for a “retirement job” can learn this amazing skill and reap astounding rewards. A recent U.S. News and World Report article listed massage as one of the top five careers in the field of healthcare support. According to the article, massage therapists often enjoy a very flexible schedule, above average work life balance, strong job market and low stress levels. Thanks to research being performed all over the world, massage has started to change the way we view modern medicine. Massage Therapists

can be found working with physical therapists, dentists, chiropractors and even with M.Ds. We're no longer bound to day spas and private clinics, though a large number of therapists still lead happy and successful careers there as well. Indeed, the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics gives massage a “bright outlook,” and shows it to be one of the fastest growing fields in the United States over the next seven years. Massage therapists enjoy a unique role. We're allowed to provide safe, healthy touch to our clients in a protected atmosphere. Allowing a person to relax and seek comfort is a crucial step in the healing process for many people. For example, The Atlantic’s article, “Study of the Day: Massage Speeds up Muscle Healing, Reduces Pain” suggests the support massage therapists provide the skeletalmuscular system can be astounding. Massage helps speed the recovery process for injuries, balances the body and improves the posture of the recipient. Massage Magazine’s 2017 article, “Cancer Pain Populations Benefit From Massage” indicates massage modalities even relieve some of

the pain and discomfort associated with cancer Career opportunities aside, massage allows the therapist a chance to have a truly mindful hour. How often, in 2017, do we have an hour to focus simply on one task? Where our problems are not laid open to be examined, and where we can concentrate on the needs of another? The low lights, peaceful music and quiet associated with massage treatment rooms provide a stark contrast to the busy offices and city streets most of the population endure. Stresses from the outside world do not have a place in a massage room—which is a benefit to the therapist and client alike. Plus, massage therapists receive unique training in the sciences. Anatomy, physiology and kinesiology play an important role in guiding the intuitive touch of a massage therapist. Educated minds and skilled hands are the earmark of an LMT. Therefore, a strong education is important. While regulations vary from state to state, most programs should be no less than 600 clock hours. A quality program will cover the sciences mentioned above as well as massage techniques. Classes in career readiness, and the ethics of massage should be included to guide the prospective therapist on their path to happiness and success in the industry. While working at Lexington Healing Arts Academy as the Compliance Coordinator and Placement Specialist, I've watched many students reach success. As a LMT myself, I always grow super

excited for new class-starts, because I know every student who walks through our doors has a fresh chance to change their life, and the lives of their clients. If you would like more information on becoming a massage therapist, there are plenty of great resources available. The American Massage Therapy Association is a treasure trove of knowledge and quality insight into career benefits and job openings for a LMT. The AMTA provides a list of schools that meet the association's standards for quality education. My Alma Mater, Lexington Healing Arts Academy, is another resource open to students in eastern and central Kentucky. With nearly twenty years of experience educating massage therapists, LHAA has the knowledge you need to begin your path toward providing a healing experience for you, and your future clients. About the Author Jeff Zutant is a licensed massage therapist (LMT) and a staff member at Lexington Healing Arts Academy. Beyond his role as massage therapist Jeff coordinates the academy's compliance efforts including student retention and placement.  

About Lexington Healing Arts Academy LHAA is a licensed, accredited school offering career education and services in Massage, Personal Training, and Yoga.  


FAMILY VISION

–COLUMN PROVIDED BY–

Family Eyecare Associates 105 Crossfield Drive, Versailles, KY 40383 859.879.3665 | www.myfamilyvision.com

What is Behavioral Optometry? by Dr. Rick Graebe, Family Eyecare Associates and Vision Therapy Behavioral optometry starts with the concept that vision is learned. When we’re born, we don’t know how to use our arms, legs and hands. We also don’t know how to use our eyes. We have to learn how to integrate them with the rest of our body. The brain must process what the eyes are seeing, and then it has to integrate that information with the other senses. From a behavioral standpoint, seeing requires a more holistic approach, getting all the senses to work together. Vision is movement: We learn how to use our eyes through moving our bodies. Our eyes control our movement through space. You can’t make an eye movement without sending a message to your body, and you can’t make a body movement without sending a neurological message to your eyes. We know 70 percent of the input to the brain comes from the visual sense. From a developmental standpoint, the eyes initially are just simply watching, tracking and following the hands. Later, as we continue climbing the developmental ladder, the eyes begin directing the hands, telling them where to go. Visual input helps us attain fine motor skills as our eyes guide our fingers to do such tasks as threading a needle or holding a pen and writing. The eyes working together as a team allows us

to judge space and distance. Changing input results in changing output. While the term “hand-eye coordination” is well known, it is more accurate to use the phrase eye-hand coordination. The eyes have to lead first, but when we’re learning how to do this, we start out watching hand movements. The first year of life is more about taste and smell. The next two years are more

about touch and feel. By the time we’re three years old, vision starts to become our dominant sense. By using our hands and eyes together, we discover we can “touch” and explore the world with our eyes. We don’t have to physically grab items to determine what they are. If you don’t learn proper visual skills early in your life, your eyes and brain will often devise shortcuts. Your brain has to use the visual information from both eyes. If the two eye views cannot be matched up, the brain will be forced to make a choice. It will reject all or part of the information from one eye. It may ignore, suppress or turn off visual information it cannot use. You can retrain the brain and teach it how to see properly and optimally. From a behavioral and developmental vision standpoint, this means re-forming or re-creating

neurological pathways. In some cases, you can even create new pathways. This empowers you to take charge of your own visual wellbeing. The behavioral or developmental optometrist has two goals for every patient: that their eyes will learn to work as a team so the patient will have good depth perception, and they will not have to depend on glasses in order to function in the world. About the Author Dr. Graebe received both his B.S degree in Visual Science and Doctorate of Optometry from Indiana University. He is a Behavioral Optometrist and learning expert. He has been in private practice here in the Bluegrass area for the past 32 years.

You can retrain the brain and teach it how to see properly and optimally.


December 2017

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Stress and the Holidays THINK OF IT AS AN OPPORTUNITY TO ENHANCE YOUR MENTAL WELL-BEING

By Harleena Singh, Staff Writer A recent Stress in America survey showed 24 percent of American adults report extreme stress, and more than one-third of adults report their stress increased over the past year. Stress and the holidays seem to go hand in hand. Your busy schedule becomes even busier with preparations and celebrations. People who already feel extreme stress may find the holiday season to be an added challenge. Instead of dreading the stress that lies ahead, try viewing the holidays as an opportunity to enhance your psychological well-being. Here are a few examples for a holiday stress-prevention list: Planning family get-togethers: Ask others to bring their favorite dishes. Cook and freeze foods ahead of time. Buy prepared foods instead of cooking everything from scratch. Don’t spend all your time planning activities for your family. You might end up feeling drained and unappreciated. • Scheduling time with family and friends: Simplify holiday commitments and traditions. Discuss with your family which traditions are most important to all of you. Don’t over-schedule yourself. Tell family members about your commitments so you’re not struggling against their expectations. When driving long distances, give yourself time to stop and rest. Travel after rush hour. Holiday shopping: Shop early when there is more of a selection. Ask people what they want instead of trying to find perfect gifts. Lack of money is one of the biggest causes of stress during the holiday season. So set a budget and don’t spend more than you’ve planned. It’s okay to tell your child that a certain toy costs too much.

Here are some helpful ways to lessen holiday stress and feel more optimistic about the season. Volunteer. Find a local charity such as a shelter that needs volunteers and offer to help. Or participate in community giving tree or adopt-a-family programs. Helping others can lift your mood and help you overcome your struggles with stress. Take out time for yourself. You may feel pressured to be everything to everyone, but remember you’re only one person and can only accomplish certain things. Sometimes self-care is the best thing you can do. Others will benefit when you’re feeling less stressed. Take out time to do things that give you joy. Go for a long walk; get a massage; take time to listen to your favorite music; or read a new book. All of us need some time to recharge our batteries. Be mindful and focus on the present rather than dwelling on the past or worrying about the future. Be realistic and open. If your children’s wish list is outside your budget, talk to them about sensible expectations and remind them the holidays aren’t about expensive gifts. Remember what’s important: your loved ones, not store-bought presents, elaborate decorations or gourmet food. Focus on what you and your family have in common. Plan activities you can do together that foster fun and laughter, such as playing a game together or looking through old photo albums. Keep a regular sleep, meal and exercise schedule. Limit your alcohol. Taking care of yourself will help you deal with stressful situations during the holidays. Meditate or do some relaxation

breathing. Exercise and other types of physical activity stimulate the production of endorphins in the brain. Endorphins are brain chemicals that function as a natural painkiller. They can trigger positive feelings in the body, boosting mood and reducing feelings of anxiety and stress. Learn to say no. Saying yes when you should say no can leave you feeling resentful and overwhelmed. Friends and colleagues will understand if you can't participate in every project or activity. If it’s not possible to say no when your boss asks you to work overtime, try to remove something else from your agenda to make up for the lost time. If the tips above are not helpful and you are still feeling stressed and overwhelmed, consult a psychologist or other licensed mental health professional – someone who can help you identify problem areas and develop an action plan for changing them. Sources and Resources • American Psychological Association (www.apa.org) • Cleveland Clinic (https://my.clevelandclinic.org) • Health (www.health.com) • Healthline (www.healthline.com) • Mayo Clinic (www.mayoclinic.org) • WebMD (www.webmd.com)

Sometimes self-care is the best thing you can do.

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INTEGRATIVE MEDICINE

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December 2017 –COLUMN PROVIDED BY–

Mind Body Studio 859.373.0033 | www.mindbodystudio.org 517 Southland Drive, Lexington

The Mindful Gift of Loving Kindness By John A. Patterson MD, MSPH, FAAFP “If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” – The 14th Dalai Lama “Three things will last forever – faith, hope, and love – and the greatest of these is love.” – 1 Corinthians 13:13 (NLT) The holiday season is filled with emotion for most people. While this emotion is often happy, positive and loving, for many people it can be very unhappy and even depressing. Holiday music can trigger emotional associations with the absence of a loved one or unhappy memories from the past. The gap between the smiling faces of holiday ads and one’s unhappy emotional experience can actually lead to a deepening of the emotional darkness that often accompanies this season of lights. Many people are reducing their external gift-giving in favor of spending time with family, friends and serving those in need. Research shows one of the best and safest remedies for depression and feelings of emotional isolation is giving of one’s time and energy in volunteer service. The gift of human-to-human connection actually mobilizes internal hormonal and neurological resources that can provide natural anti-depressant and

anti-anxiety relief. Giving of oneself can truly help the giver as much as the recipient. Many people also take the opportunity of holiday gifting to give themselves a gift. This can be a psychologically healthy reflection of self-care and self-nurturing if it complements, rather than replaces, sharing and giving to others. It can also be an opportunity to give oneself an inner gift that costs no money but can feel priceless. Compassion practices are just such an inner gift. Whether your emotional experience of the holidays is happiness or sadness, you can benefit from positive psychological practices that contribute to self-healing. Some of the oldest, most powerful and effective practices for emotional self-care are compassion practices, and one of the most popular and powerful compassion practices is loving kindness, also known as metta. What is Loving Kindness (Metta)? The Pali word metta means loving kindness, friendliness, goodwill, unselfishness, altruism and nonviolence involving the strong wish for the welfare and happiness of others. The epidemic of hurrying and worrying in modern life can lead to physical, mental and emotional symptoms and chronic conditions that negatively impact the workforce, the family and one’s personal sense of well-being. The compassion practice of loving kindness can be a par-

ticularly warm and soothing antidote to these diseases of isolation, separation and unhappiness. Instructions for LovingKindness (Metta) Practice My mindfulness classes always end with a brief loving-kindness practice. Some people refer to the practice as a meditation. Some refer to it as a prayer. I describe it simply as a mindfulness tool to keep in your self-care tool kit for regular use anywhere, anytime. There are several versions of loving-kindness practice. This is one I have crafted over the years. You can practice loving kindness by yourself. The version below is for practicing in a group. Begin by sitting or lying down with eyes open or closed, then repeat these phrases once or twice silently to yourself: May I be safe May I be happy May I be well May I be peacefully at ease Bring everyone in this group into

your mind’s eye. Go around the circle and have everyone say their name (including yourself). Bring into the group anyone else for whom you’d like to wish loving kindness. Say to them all: May you all be safe May you all be happy May you all be well May you all be peacefully at ease And may we all be filled with loving kindness May we all be filled with loving kindness May we all be filled with loving kindness Your inner resource of loving kindness (metta) can help you mobilize your inner pharmacy for self-care and healing. It can lift your spirits, open your heart, promote resilience, manage stress, prevent burnout and heal social isolation and loneliness. The mindful gift of loving kindness is truly a gift that can last a lifetime. Resources A 4-minute Loving Kindness audio recording is available on my website at http://www.mindbodystudio.org/?page_ id=1594

About the Author Dr. John Patterson is past president of the Kentucky Academy of Family Physicians and is board certified in family medicine and integrative holistic medicine. He is on the family practice faculty at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine and the University of Louisville School of Medicine, Saybrook University’s School of Mind Body Medicine (San Francisco) and the Center for Mind Body Medicine (Washington, D.C.). He operates the Mind Body Studio in Lexington, where he offers integrative medicine consultations. He can be reached through his Website at www. mindbodystudio.org.

Many people are reducing their external gift-giving in favor of spending time with family, friends and serving those in need.


December 2017

Sensible Holiday Feasting DIABETES DOESN’T HAVE TO PUT A DAMPER ON YOUR SEASONAL CELEBRATIONS By Jean Jeffers, Staff Writer This is the year you’re doing it: eating properly while enjoying the holidays. The holiday season is upon us, and with the festivities comes time for renewed effort on the part of the person with diabetes – to eat within the guidelines but still celebrate. The same advice could be given to every American. Twenty-two million Americans eat turkey at Thanksgiving and Christmas. Eating turkey isn’t the problem; it’s the array of delicacies also on the table for the meal. Drinks and snacks are presented at parties. Christmas candy waits at work and cookies must be baked for the children and guests. All of these are temptations for a person with diabetes. So what can you do to minimize the damage? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers the following advice: • Make a plan. Eat at your regular times as much as possible. If meals are at odd hours, have a

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snack to tide you over till it is time to eat. else and leave the remainder. • Add vegetables and fruit to your plate. • Contribute to the party by bringing your • Guard against too many sweets. If you’re favorite sugar-free dessert. including a sweet dish or dessert, cut back on If you’re taking part in food preparation, cut something else at the meal, such as a roll. down on sugar and increase your use of cin• Avoid “saving up” for the meal. Don’t skip namon, nutmeg, vanilla and other sweet-tasting small meals in favor of the big one. spices. You could replace half the fat in your • Have pumpkin pie instead of pecan pie. brownie, cake and cookie recipes by using apple• Place a small portion of sauce or baby-food prunes. your favorite dish, such as Use fresh lemon or lime dressing, sweet potato casjuice on steamed vegetables, Take a walk with serole or mashed potatoes, pasta or salads. Use onion or on your plate and leave garlic to add flavor to meats family members the others. and vegetables. In place of • Eat slowly. It takes about sour cream, use non-fat plain after a big holiday 20 minutes for the brain yogurt. Substitute olive oil to recognize that feeling of for butter or margarine. You dinner. fullness. Besides, you want might also use light mayonto savor every bite. naise or a combination of • Take a walk with family light mayo with non-fat plain members after a big holiyogurt. day dinner. • Schedule some “me” time About the Author to keep your energy up. Jean is an RN with an MSN • Get enough sleep. With loss from University of Cincinnati. of sleep comes less resolve She is a staff writer for to avoid temptations. Living Well 60+ and Health & The American Diabetic Association offers these tips for managing your sweet tooth at this time of year, when temptations abound: • Stick to an eating plan as much as possible. • Share one portion of a goody with someone

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December 2017

Holiday Health & Wellness:

BEATING THOSE HOLIDAY BLUES HOW TO EXPERIENCE POSITIVE RESULTS DURING THE SEASON By Dr. Tom Miller, Staff Writer The holidays bring joy – and sadness – to many people. On the positive side, the holidays boost health for about a month, making people feel better. The holiday spirit helps people rest, relax, improve sleep patterns, reduce blood pressure, strengthen relationships and live longer. They can even work wonders for the libido. Now, in something of a first, scientific principles have been used to explore the extent to which holidays really do make people feel better. The results of a clinical research project found up to two-thirds of the subjects studied experienced positive results in their lives during the holiday season. What about the other third? Holiday blues can affect individuals in a number of different ways. Those who find themselves suffering back-to-work-blues after their holiday break should take heart: Scientists found the benefits of a holiday break are physical as well as psychological and can last for a month after returning to work. Indeed, the holiday season is a time full of joy, cheer, parties and family gatherings. However, for many people, it is also a time of selfevaluation, loneliness, reflection on past failures and anxiety about an uncertain future. Many factors can cause the holiday blues, including stress, fatigue, unrealistic expectations, overcommercialization, financial constraints and the inability to be with family and friends. The demands of

shopping, parties, family reunions and houseguests also contribute to stress and tension. Individuals who do not become depressed may develop other stress responses, such as headaches, excessive drinking, overeating and difficulty sleeping. Even more individuals experience a post-holiday letdown after New Year’s Day. This can result from disappointments during the preceding weeks compounded with the excess fatigue and stress. Here are some ways to cope with the blues that may come your way during or after the holidays: • Spend time with friends who are supportive and caring. Don’t focus on just one day but on high-quality visits with friends and family. • Keep expectations for the holiday season manageable. Life brings changes. Each season is different and can be enjoyed in its own special way. • Memories of deceased loved ones are often prevalent at this time. Welcome these feelings and memories from a positive perspective. • Set time aside for yourself. It is a time to recharge your batteries. Let others share the responsibility of activities such as hosting and cooking. • Pace yourself through the holidays. Organize your activities and time. Make a list and prioritize the important activities. Be realistic about what you can and cannot accomplish. • Do something for someone else. Try volunteering some time to help others. • Enjoy activities that are free, such as driving around to look at holiday decorations; going

window shopping without buying; making a snowperson with children; or visiting the Horse Park for the Southern Lights Festival. • Choose moderation in everything you engage in during this season, including food, activities and drinking. Be aware excessive drinking often increases feelings of sadness.

About the Author Thomas W. Miller, Ph.D., ABPP, is a Professor Emeritus and Senior Research Scientist, Center for Health, Intervention and Prevention, University of Connecticut and Professor, Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine and Department of Gerontology, College of Public Health, University of Kentucky.

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December 2017

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YOGA

–COLUMN PROVIDED BY–

Lexington Healing Arts Academy 859.252.5656 | www.lexingtonhealingarts.com 272 Southland Drive, Lexington, KY 40503

Visit us online to learn more!

Short Yoga Practices to Try Anywhere By Lauren Weaver, RYT 200 The holiday season inevitably brings joy, stress, and many things in between. This article offers suggestions for using yogic practices to enhance your season and everyday life in just a few moments. Four of the eight limbs of yoga are asana (body exercises), pranayama (breathing exercises), pratyahara (restraint of senses), and dharana (direction of mind). For a rough translation, we will refer to the last two as mindfulness in this article. When you find yourself waiting in shopping lines, at the dinner table with loved ones or lying in bed at the end of a long day, try some of the practices suggested in this article and notice the benefits for yourself! WAITING IN LINE Body Exercises: Notice how your weight is distributed in your feet and body. Then make small adjustments to balance between the left and right and the front and back of your body. Bonus Points: Balancing on one leg at a time, lift your knees up high in front of you to warm up your hip flexors; maybe even throw in some ankle circles! Breath Exercise: To calm your nervous system and bring in more oxygen,

relax your belly. As you take long slow inhalations, let your belly billow out. As you exhale, the air moves slowly out of your lungs and the billowing belly recedes. Continue in this way. Mindfulness: Standing in line surrounded by movement, sounds, and lights of a store can be both exiting and overwhelming. Let yourself fade into the setting. Sounds become quieter and lights blur together a bit. You are one piece of it all. AT THE DINNER TABLE Body Exercises: Bring your attention to your posture and then to the two sit bones pressing into the seat beneath you. Grow taller through your spine to stack your strong spinal column. Bonus Points: Give your spine some extra love by gently twisting to your right and left. Breath Exercise: Let your next inhalation be slower, longer, and more even. Let your next exhalation also be slower, longer, and more even. At the end of your exhalation, pause for a moment before resuming with your next inhale. Let that brief pause be a refuge just for you. Mindfulness: Disconnect from your surroundings for a moment by choosing to not engage in the activities around you. Instead, imagine you are

a stranger watching from the outside, observing but not participating, for just long enough that others do not notice. Then, join the group again with more subtle presence.

Imagine snow falling from the sky and quickly melting as the flakes touch the ground. Let your thoughts be like these snowflakes, falling and melting away.

LYING IN BED Body Exercises: Lie down in bed with or without a pillow under your head. Let your knees be comfortably bent. Optionally, let your knees come together. Your arms are out at your sides palms faced up, and you are relaxing into the comfort and support of the surface beneath you. Bonus Points: Bring your hands to your face and, with eyes closed, massage across your forehead, at the temples, in the crevices of the cheekbones, and at the jaw below your ears. Breath Exercise: Your breath is the key to tension release here. As you inhale, bring your attention to an area of physical tension in your body. As you exhale, give that tension permission to release its grasp and be on its way out. Continue in this way, focused on that same area or move to another in your own time. Mindfulness: Let your eyes be closed. Likely, your thoughts from the day are flickering in your mind.

Sources and Resources • Article: Yoga for anxiety and depression (Harvard Mental Health Letter, 2017) • Book: Yoga in No Time At All (Joel DiGirolamo, 2009) • Book: The Heart of Yoga: Developing a Personal Practice (T.K.V. Desikachar, 1995)

About the Author Lauren Weaver is a Yogi, Yoga Instructor, and Assistant Instructor with the Yoga Teacher Training Program at Lexington Healing Arts Academy. She can be reached via email at Lauren.mw32@ gmail.com.

About Lexington Healing Arts Academy LHAA is a licensed, accredited school offering career education and services in Massage, Personal Training, and Yoga.  

LET YOURSELF FADE INTO THE SETTING WHILE WAITING IN LINE: SOUNDS BECOME QUIETER & LIGHTS BLUR TOGETHER A BIT.


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859.278.5007 | fpalex.com 1175 Alysheba Way, Lexington KY

Feeling S.A.D. During the Holiday Season? You’ll Be O.K. By Raleigh M. Kincaid, LMFT, Family Practice Associates of Lexington, P.S.C. The holidays are wonderful, but there is also a great deal of stress at this time of year. Not only are people expected to eat more than they should, drink more than they should and spend more than they can really afford, but they are also expected to be joyous and merry and full of good cheer. For some people, however, the holidays are not something they look forward to. A person who has suffered a loss around the holidays – the end of a relationship or the death of a loved one – often has a hard time tapping into the happiness that seems to permeate every store, TV show and song on the radio. Dealing with a loss becomes more difficult when the societal pressure to laugh and rejoice increases. Memories of deceased loved ones are especially poignant and wrenching when the emphasis is on gathering with friends and family for a pictureperfect holiday. People who live alone or far from family may find loneliness is exacerbated during the holidays. If depression and anxiety are realities for you at this time of year,

talk to your family physician. He or she may be able to prescribe an antidepressant that will help you keep things in a good perspective. It is also beneficial to speak with a trained counselor, who will help you recognize your feelings are genuine and should be respected. Your counselor can give you ways of coping and teach you how to practice self-care. If someone insists that you “cheer up” and stop being a “party pooper,” it is perfectly all right for you to emphasize that your wellbeing is your priority. Some people have Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), a very real illness often incurred by the shorter winter days. The lack of daylight makes people feel sad and hopeless. They may have little energy, lose interest in things they enjoy, have trouble concentrating and may even contemplate suicide. Talk to your doctor about your symptoms. SAD can be treated by taking long walks during daylight hours or exposure to a light box for about 30 minutes a day. To help you get through the season, you can: Simplify. Cut back on commitments and minimize decorating and shopping. Don’t overeat and espe-

cially don’t overdrink: Alcohol worsens symptoms of depression. Reflect. Take time to ponder the happy memories of loved ones you have lost. Honor them by sharing photos and stories. Refuse. If you don’t feel up to going to a party or event, just say so. There’s no use wearing yourself out and making matters worse. Be grateful. Keep a journal or a running list of things you are thankful for. When you’re feeling overwhelmed, look over the list and realize there are good things in your life.

It is all right to feel sad.

It is all right to feel sad. It is all right to step away from the noise and hustle and bustle to maintain your inner peace. Look forward to the New Year with a resolution to enjoy a fresh start. About the Author A native of Beattyville, Kentucky, Raleigh M. Kincaid has lived in Lexington for nearly 20 years. He believes his job as a marriage and family therapist is to “help people find and act on the truth.”


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December 2017 | Read this issue and more at www.healthandwellnessmagazine.net | Like us

@healthykentucky

decemb events DEC. 2017

Submit your healthy event listings: brian@rockpointpublishing.com

Mondays Free Yoga Classes for Vets,

Servicemembers and their Family Members

Every Monday from 9:30am–10:30am at Ageless Yoga Studio, 611 Winchester Rd., Suite 200. 859303-6225. Pre-register online at agelessyogastudio. com. Click “class” tab to sign up now! Email info@ agelessyogastudio.com for more info.

Mondays & Wednesdays MELT Method Hand, Foot and Body

Healing Class by Shayne Wigglesworth Mondays and Wednesdays at 12pm - Discover pain-free living at any age! Enjoy a gentle foam roller class to reduce pain, inflammation, stress, anxiety and more! MELT Method certified instructor Shayne Wigglesworth will teach you healing techniques you can use for self care at home. All materials and rollers are provided. Perfect for all ages, body types and experience levels. Learn more at www.centeredlex.com or call 859-721-1841.

Mondays & Wednesdays Lexington Area Parkinson's Support Group

Mondays and Wednesdays at 12pm Free daytime and evening discussion groups for people with PD and their care partners. Daytime meetings held the 4th Monday of each month at noon. Evening meetings held on 1st Wednesday of each month at 6:00 pm.  Both group meetings held at Crestwood Christian Church, 1882 Bellefonte Drive, Lexington, KY.  For more details contact Elaine at 859-277-1040 or by email info@parkinsonslexington.com. Please visit our website atwww.parkinsonslexington.com to get more details about these meetings and other free events held by LAPSG.

Tuesdays Community Flow This weekly restorative class integrates gentle yoga, breathing techniques, meditation and

wellness tips for all ages and levels of physical condition. 10:30am–11:30am. Donation only (great portion of all donations go to the Backpack Food Program at Ashland Elementary.) Inspiring, Educating & Supporting our World through the Moving,  Visual & Healing Arts! Daily classes, therapies, workshops & a great spot to host your next event! 309 N Ashland Ave Ste.180, Lexington, KY 40502. 859-721-1841. www.centeredlex.com.

Tuesdays Swing Lessons Every Tuesday: 8pm–10pm at Tates Creek Recreation Center, 1400 Gainesway Dr. $5.00 per person per lesson. Call for more information: Glenn and Rosalee Kelley 859-233-9947; OR Peter and Robin Young 859-224-3388.

Tuesdays Community Yoga Class with Lauren Higdon

Every Tuesday 10:30am–11:30am at Centered Studio, 309 n Ashland ave suite 180 in Lexington. This weekly restorative class integrates gentle yoga, breathing techniques, meditation and wellness tips for all ages and levels of physical condition. Classes may include chair yoga, restorative, yin yoga, tai chi, and more. Perfect for beginners as well as experienced yogis! Donations-based class.

Tuesdays & Thursdays Free "How to Stay Young" Class Triple Crown Chiropractic and Wellness offers a free class twice a week explaining how to keep your body young through chiropractic care. Free spinal screening available for anyone who attends the class. To register for the class, please call 859335-0419. Questions to pr.triplecrownchiro@gmail. com. Triple Crown Chiropractic and Wellness: 1795 Alysheba Way #4103 Lexington, KY. Free gift from the office to those who attend the class!

1st Tuesdays Lupus Support Group:

Living & Coping with Lupus

The Lupus Foundation of America support groups are intended to provide a warm and caring environment where people with lupus, their family members, caregivers and loved ones can share experiences, methods of coping and insights into living with chronic illness. Imani Baptist Church, 1555 Georgetown Road, Lexington from 7:00pm– 8:00pm first Tuesday of every month. 877-8658787. www.lupusmidsouth.org.

2nd Tuesdays PFLAG Support for LGBTs and Families We are a support group of family members and allies united with LGBTQ* individuals. Our meetings provide a safe, confidential space where you can feel respected and accepted wherever you are in your journey or family struggle. Monthly speakers help us to broaden our understanding of these issues in our families and in society. Lexington meetings are held the 2nd Tuesday of each month, 6:30 at St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, 2025 Bellefonte Drive. Frankfort chapter meets the 3rd Monday of the month, 5:30 at the Unitarian Community, 316 Wilkinson Blvd. More information and resources at www.pflagcentralky.org For questions, call 859-338-4393 or info@pflagcentralky. org. *lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning.

Wednesdays Mindfulness and Relaxation for Health

Relax the body, quiet the mind, open the heart. 6:30-8:00 PM (arrive at 6 to relax before class). No prior experience of yoga or meditation required. Mobilize inner resources for promoting health and managing the stress of caregiving, burnout and chronic disease. Study and practice in a supportive group. Gentle yoga or mindful movement, deep relaxation, sitting meditation and discussion. Cost $10 Instructor: John A. Patterson MD, MSPH, FAAFP. Mind Body Studio 517 Southland Drive, Lexington, KY 859-373-0033. Full details at http://www.mindbodystudio.org/?page_id=1055

Thursdays (January 18) Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction The “gold standard” mindfulness program.


For advertising information call 859.368.0778 or email brian@rockpointpublishing.com | December 2017

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ber 2 16 Orientation Thursday night January 18th followed by 8 Monday night sessions. Learn to promote resilience, prevent burnout, cultivate compassion and manage stress-related chronic conditions. Instructor- John A. Patterson MD, MSPH, FAAFP. Mind Body Studio 517 Southland Drive, Lexington, KY 859-373-0033. Full details at www.mindbodystudio. org/?page_id=1262. UK Wellness Program offers deep discount for UK employees, retirees and spouses.

Fridays Argentine Tango

“Dance of the Heart”

Passionate and Romantic –Mindful and Meditative. A uniquely transformative social skill, art form and movement therapy. No partner or dance experience required. Friday evening 7:30-9:00 PM. You may drop-in to any class- this is not a series. Cost $10 (first class free). Instructors: Dr. John Patterson and Nataliya Timoshevskaya. Mind Body Studio 517 Southland Drive, Lexington, KY 859-373-0033. Full details at http://www.mindbodystudio.org/?page_id=214

December 1-3 Holly Day Market

Vendors from across the United States come to Lexington for one weekend in December to give shoppers the opportunity to buy holiday gifts in one spectacular location. Vendors sell jewelry; clothes for women, men and children; toys; books; holiday decorations; ornaments; art; food; and much more. Plus, the Holly Day Market offers daily events and activities for everyone including a much anticipated visit from Santa. $10. Details online: www.lexingtoncenter.com/ events/detail/holly-day-market

December 2 Craft and Vendor Show

Browse jewelry, cosmetics, home décor, unique gifts and more from 11am–3pm at Morning Pointe, 233 Ruccio Way, Lexington, KY. Craft and vendor show is open to the public.

December 3 Craft and Vendor Show

Browse jewelry, cosmetics, home décor, unique gifts and more from

Like getting a little help from your friends®

Home Care by Seniors for Seniors

11am–4pm at Hartland Hills, 1005 Tanbark, Lexington, KY. Craft and vendor show is open to the public.

December 4 Diabetes Support Group

11 am, Bourbon County Senior Citizens Center, 11 Legion Rd, Paris. Open to anyone with diabetes or pre-diabetes and their support persons. Lunch can be provided for anyone age 60 and over by calling the Senior Center at 987-7453 by the Friday morning before the meeting (Sept 1). For those under age 60, call Lisa Wheat at the health department 987-1915 ext. 4117.

December 5 Eat, Move, Lose Weight Support Group

12 – 1 pm, Lexington-Fayette Co. Health Department PH Clinic South, 2433 Regency Road. Free weight-loss support group appropriate for anyone wishing to lose weight or maintain weight loss. Share struggles and ideas with others. Held first and third Tuesdays most months. For more information and to confirm the group is meeting, call 288-2446.

December 9 Craft and Vendor Show

Browse jewelry, cosmetics, home décor, unique gifts and more from 11am–3pm at Provision Living, 1165 Monarch St., Lexington, KY. Craft and vendor show is open to the public.

December 14 Holiday Cooking Class

6 – 8 pm, Immanuel Baptist Church Recreation and Outreach Center, 3100 Tates Creek Road, Lexington. FREE. Join registered dietitians and health educators from the LexingtonFayette County Health Department to help you learn tips to cook and enjoy healthy holiday meals. In this

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fun, interactive cooking class,you’ll sample delicious dishes that you can add to your holiday table. Bring your appetite! For more information or to register, contact Sharlena Maney at sharlenam@ibclex.com or 859-6853305.

December 16 Craft and Vendor Show

Browse jewelry, cosmetics, home décor, unique gifts and more from 10am–4pm at Rabbit Run Clubhouse, 1920 Fort Harrods Drive, Lexington, KY. Craft and vendor show is open to the public.

December 22 Candy Mountain Music – Big Kids: Winter Wonderland

This 2 hour drop off (6-8pm) special event music class will present the magic of WINTER in the most playful of ways! Singing, dancing, movement games, and YES my annual indoor SNOW BALL fight! You don't want to miss this one! (Ages 6-9) Registration Required. Baby Moon, 2891 Richmond Rd, Ste 103; www. babymoonlex.com.

here’s a huge difference in the kind of home care you can receive from someone who really understands your life as a senior. Our caring, compassionate seniors are there to help. We offer the services you need to stay in your home, living independently. Call us today!

Companionship | Light Housekeeping | Meal Preparation | Transportation

859.408.1145 KY 500239

www.seniorshelpingseniors.com/lexington

If you are interested in becoming a service provider we would like to hear from you too. ©2017 Seniors Helping Seniors. Each office is independently owned and operated. All trademarks are registered trademarks of Corporate Mutual Resource Inc. Not all services are available in all areas.

TRIANGLE PARK ICE RINK

From November through the beginning of January, the lawn at Triangle Park is transformed into a winter wonderland with the Unified Trust Company Ice Rink. For a nominal fee, you can take to the ice in the glow of Lexington's official Christmas Tree bringing a unique experience for guests and locals of all ages. Open on weekdays from 4-10p; Saturdays 10a-11p and Sundays 1:30-9p. When school is out, it is open from 10a-10p. $12.


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December 2017

RADICAL HOLIDAYS HOW CAN YOU AVOID CONSUMERISM THIS YEAR? By Angela S. Hoover, Staff Writer On average, people spend roughly half their monthly income – about $830 – on holiday gifts. One in three people use credit cards and add to their personal debt over the holidays. As a country, we spend trillions of dollars during the holiday season. For many years, there has been a growing, worldwide minimalist movement that extends to Christmas consumerism. Nearly one in 10 U.S. families didn’t exchange holiday gifts in 2014, according to MarketWatch. This equates to roughly 2 million households, about 9 percent of American families. Minimalists have shunned shopping and consequently have saved big bucks. They also say they find the experience liberating. There are many reasons individuals and families around the world have stopped rampant holiday shopping. Some don’t celebrate the holidays; others have no one to give gifts to. But for many people, the cost has simply become too high. Nearly one in four Americans say the holidays are too expensive, according a 2015 Pew Research Center poll. Still others have taken a stand against consumerism and buying for the sake of buying. That same Pew Research Center poll found one in three Americans dislike the commercialism and materialism of the holidays. How this plays out varies. Some people offer assistance or a service; some make or bake gifts; and others only shop for family with a $20 cap. A common motivator is to highlight spending time with loved ones versus spending money. Most people remember who they were with last holiday season rather than what they received from them. Feeling obligated to buy for others is often why gifts can seem hollow, meaningless and quite forgettable – people

THE LUMINEERS

don’t always know what someone else truly wants or needs, but they feel a societal pressure to wrap up some trinket. Several trade company surveys reveal Americans are mostly displeased with their presents. A 2014 survey found 75 percent of Americans probably won’t like their Christmas gifts. Rather than cherishing these gifts, most plan to get rid of them quickly by reselling or regifting them or donating them to charities. To try lessening consumerism this Christmas, you could decide to only buy for immediate family members, perhaps with a spending limit. You could have each family member draw the name of one person for whom to buy. Tell others in advance that you won’t be buying gifts. You may be surprised how many others feel trapped in a maze and may react with relief to your announcement. If anyone balks and still wants you to buy something for him or her, you may wish to re-evaluate that relationship. Feel free to apply your skills, talents and hobbies to give others a gift or experience. Putting your heart, soul and personality into making a gift or providing a unique service to someone can be powerful and meaningful.

Feel free to apply your skills, talents and hobbies to give others a gift or experience.

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PERSONAL TRAINING

For advertising information call 859.368.0778 or email brian@rockpointpublishing.com | December 2017

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–COLUMN PROVIDED BY–

Lexington Healing Arts Academy 859.252.5656 | www.lexingtonhealingarts.com 272 Southland Drive, Lexington, KY 40503

Visit us online to learn more!

Improve Your Health With One Simple Step DON'T OVERLOOK THE POWER OF SLEEP FOR A HEALTHY HOLIDAY SEASON! By Lucy Hendricks Christmas is around the corner, and you’re deciding if you’re going to try to make it to the gym to stay healthy throughout the holidays or just say “forget it” and start next year. What if I told you that you could immensely positively impact your health without even stepping into a gym? What if you could start working on a very important and often overlooked component of health without it even affecting your holiday schedule? What is it, you ask? It’s sleep! If your trainer or health coach isn’t emphasizing sleep, they’re missing a huge piece of the puzzle. If you want to avoid starting and stopping your healthy journey and want to achieve results that you can sustain for a lifetime, including during the holiday season, you’ll need to establish good foundational habits like your sleep routine. Better sleep is more than just thriving for 7-8 hours a night; it’s about regulating your internal clock.

Plants, animals, humans are all running on a circadian rhythm. We have an internal clock that wakes us up when the sun comes up and makes us sleepy when it goes down. It controls when and where certain hormones are released all throughout the body. If it’s disregulated, there are about a dozen different hormones that will go out of whack. Which is why having an unregulated rhythm has been connected to chronic disease and some health issues like weight gain, depression, heart disease, type-2 diabetes, and even cancer. What can you do this holiday season to regulate your sleep and wake cycle? Start blocking blue light at night and start getting sunlight exposure in the morning and you'll be ready to hit the gym starting in January with more energy and a bigger chance of sticking to it! Why is light exposure so important? We’ve got our morning hormone (cortisol) that wakes us up when the sun comes up. When the sun

goes down our sleep hormone (melatonin) helps us wind down and go to bed. These hormones are receptive to light, and with our technology-filled lives, these two hormones are not on their regular cycle. Blue light is light produced by the sun, but it’s also produced by your phone, TV, tablet, and overhead lights. You’re walking around with an artificial sun, and your photoreceptors in your eyes and skin don’t know the difference between the artificial sun or the real sun. If you’re exposing your eyes to that light 2 hours before going to bed, you’re telling your brain that it’s still light out, and the need for melatonin, your sleep hormone, is not necessary. There’s a strong connection between working night-shift and chronic disease which is believed it’s due to the opposite timing, getting artificial light all night and not getting sun during the day. Our lives are set up to where it almost makes it impossible to live as our ancestors did which was sitting by candlelight, watching the sun go down, and waking up with the sun rising. The good news is, there are a few things we can do to biohack our light exposure and not change much of our routine. These things might seem simple, but don’t underestimate the power of good quality sleep! 1. Buy blue blocking glasses and wear them 2 hours before bed (Amazon) 2. Download f.lux on your computer and dim all your screens including your TV 3. Buy red/amber light bulbs and

turn off all overhead lighting 2 hours before bed 4. Get 10-15 minutes of sun during the morning, even if it’s cloudy! Don’t wear sunglasses. Online Resources • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/ pubmed/27660402 • http://caloriesproper.com/circadian-rhythms-and-breast-cancer/ • https://www.webmd.com/sleepdisorders/news/20170619/is-bluelight-bad-for-your-health • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/ articles/PMC4734149/ • https://www.webmd.com/sleepdisorders/features/power-downbetter-sleep#1

About the Author Lucy Hendricks is co-owner of Enhancing Life and Teacher at The Lexington Healing Arts Academy Personal Training Program. She is a personal trainer that takes a holistic approach to health and fitness. She looks at all factors that impact her client’s results in the gym: stress, nutrition, breathing, routine, sleep, and more. By considering the whole picture, her clients can expect to achieve sustainable results and avoid plateaus or overtraining.

About Lexington Healing Arts Academy LHAA is a licensed, accredited school offering career education and services in Massage, Personal Training, and Yoga.  


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NATURE’S BEAUTY

December 2017 | Read this issue and more at www.healthandwellnessmagazine.net | Like us

@healthykentucky

Mistletoe

PUCKER UP AND LEARN HOW THIS PERVASIVE PLANT BECAME A HOLIDAY TRADITION By Tanya Tyler,

Editor/Writer

My mother loved decorating for the holidays. From the tree in the den to the lights around all the windows and a big Santa decal on the front door, she was all in. She would also hang a sprig of (fake) mistletoe, complete with sharp-edged leaves and white berries, from the lintel of the doorway between the living room and the kitchen. She and my father always shared the first kiss under the mistletoe after she put it up. Once my father stood sentinel under the mistletoe, waiting for my brothers to pass from the kitchen to the living room. He grabbed each unsuspecting son and kissed him resoundingly on the cheek. Where did that tradition come from? British servants started the practice of kissing under a hanging sprig of mistletoe. The idea was a man could kiss any woman he happened to see standing under the mistletoe. If she refused the kiss, she would have bad luck. After each kiss, one berry should be plucked from the plant. Once the berries are all gone, the sprig no longer has the power to command kisses. While the kissing tradition surely is nice, mistletoe doesn’t have the best botanical reputation. It is, essentially, an evergreen parasite. It attaches to and penetrates the branches of various trees and shrubs, absorbing water and nutrients from them. This weakens the host plant and could eventually kill it. The National Wildlife Federation (NWF) says the

After each kiss, one berry should be plucked from the plant.

name of the most common species of mistletoe in the Eastern United States is Phoradendron, which is Greek for “tree thief.” According to CBS News, mistletoe is notoriously difficult to get rid of once it infects a tree. You might cut off the visible portions of the plant, but it sometimes grows inside the host plant. Your best bet is to remove the entire infected branch or limb. Mistletoe’s round masses of branching stems give it the nickname “witches’ brooms.” The NWF says these can reach 5 feet wide and weigh 50 pounds and serve as nests for some species of birds, including chickadees, mourning doves, spotted owls and Cooper’s hawks. Mistletoe not only grows in forests but also in deserts. It is extremely poisonous to people; the berries are also poisonous to cats and other small animals. Eating either the berries or leaves may cause diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and seizures. However, mistletoe has also been used medicinally. Traditional medicine has promoted European varieties of mistletoe to treat infertility, hypertension and arthritis. In Europe, Iscador, a mistletoe extract, is being used to treat colon, cervix, breast and other cancers. It is said to stimulate the immune system, inhibit the formation of tumors and kill cancer cells. The Food and Drug Administration has not tested Iscador here in the United States. Here’s hoping you meet someone you truly love under the mistletoe this season, someone whose kiss you will welcome. Even if that doesn’t happen, consider conceding to the tradition. We don’t want you to start the new year with bad luck!


F OD BITES Milk Proteins Make Edible Wrapping

To create an all-around better packaging solution, the U.S. Department of Agriculture is developing environmentally friendly film made of the milk protein casein to wrap meats, cheese and other food items. “The protein-based films are powerful oxygen blockers that help prevent food spoilage,” said research leader Peggy Tomasula. “When used in packaging, they could prevent food waste during distribution along the food chain.” These films are up to 500 times better than plastics at keeping oxygen away from food, and because they are derived from milk, they are biodegradable, sustainable and edible. This is better for the environment, which is already riddled with too much plastic toxicity. Early prototypes using pure casein were strong and effective oxygen blockers but hard to handle and dissolved in water too quickly. Adding citrus pectin to the blend has made the packaging even stronger as well as more resistant to humidity and high temperatures. The casein-based packaging looks similar to plastic wrap but is less stretchy and better at blocking oxygen. In addition, the coating could be sprayed directly onto foods such as cereal flakes and protein bars. The casein coating could replace the sugar coating that helps cereals keep their crunch in milk. Developers expect the casein packaging to be on store shelves within three years.

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A Little Fat Unlocks Full Potential of Raw Vegetables

Adding oil helps in the absorption of eight different micronutrients in salad vegetables. These include four carotenoids (alpha and beta carotene, lutein and lycopene), vitamins A, E and K and a micronutrient formed in the intestines from the alpha and beta carotene. Better absorption of these micronutrients promotes many health benefits, including cancer prevention and eyesight preservation. More oil equates to more absorption. “The best way to explain it would be to say adding twice the amount of salad dressing leads to twice the nutrient absorption,” said Wendy White, an associate professor of food science and human nutrition who led this study published in the peer-reviewed American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. This isn’t to say you should drench salad greens in dressing, but it is in line with U.S. dietary recommendations of about 2 tablespoons of oil per day.

Malted Barley in Beer = Lifted Spirits

Some foods make us feel good because of the neurotransmitter dopamine. Hordenine, a substance present in malted barley and beer, activates the dopamine D2 receptor, says Prof. Monika Pischestreider at Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremburg. In contrast to dopamine, hordenine activates the receptor solely through G proteins, potentially leading to a more prolonged effect on the reward center of the brain. At this time, it seems hordenine is the reason for the mood-boosting effect of beer.

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SENIOR LIVING

–COLUMN PROVIDED BY–

701 Liberty Ridge Lane, Lexington 859.543.9449 | 800.264.0840 www.libertyridge.com

Life Enrichment Is Loads of Fun at Liberty Ridge by Bruce Maples, Sales and Community Outreach Coordinator There is never a dull moment at Liberty Ridge Senior Living Community. How can there be? Thanks to Healthy Lifestyle, residents remain on the go, lively and engaged. Healthy Lifestyle is a life enrichment program designed to enhance the quality of life for Liberty Ridge residents, involving them in activities that foster a healthy mind, body and spirit. Healthy Lifestyle is not your traditional “one-size-fits-all” activity program. Its intent is not to merely keep people occupied. Its focus is to promote meaningful, individualized pursuits that are necessary for maintaining health and encourage residents to continue growing and recognize their self-worth. Through initial interviews and ongoing conversations, the staff at Liberty Ridge learn about each resident’s unique interests, talents and values. Staff can then devise a custom-tailored program that combines personal and organized group activities. These activities run across an intriguing gamut, from card games, trivia, bingo, movies and University of Kentucky basketball games to magic shows and a version of The Price is Right game show. The staff makes every activity as convenient, interesting and beneficial to the residents as possible, paying special attention to any physical limitations a participant has. Liberty Ridge treats every

resident with respect and dignity. Liberty Ridge’s Life Enrichment director carefully plans and selects daily activities that engage and entertain the residents. To promote a healthy mind, there are educational workshops, cultural experiences, a book club, discussions and debates. To enhance a healthy body, there are flexibility exercises, dance classes, nutritious cooking classes and safety programs. You can enjoy a personal workout in the fitness center, which features all types of new equipment, including hand weights, fitness balls, resistance bands and a stationary bicycle. The walking trail perfectly combines beautiful green space with exercise in the fresh air. The community also has on site a Wellness Clinic, and Lifeline Home Health, Liberty Ridge’s industry partners, provides “Ask a Nurse” weekly. Nurses are on hand to check blood pressure and answer residents’ questions about health issues. To promote a healthy spirit, residents can participate in community service, volunteerism, mentoring, worship and prayer and support groups. Social gatherings help residents connect with each other and further build a caring, supportive community. There’s always something to celebrate: birthdays, holidays and “just because” days. Often a special day calls for a special activity. For instance, on Mother’s Day, women are guests at an afternoon tea. On Father’s Day, men are treated to an

outdoor barbecue. The fun is not contained solely to the campus. The residents often go on outings to restaurants, libraries and local attractions, such as Renfro Valley, the Kentucky Horse Park and Pioneer Playhouse. Music has been proven to be greatly inspiring and enlivening for people of all ages, so a wide variety of musical presentations and endeavors are important parts of the Life Enrichment program. Bluegrass bands, harpists, classical guitarists, pianists and choirs are just some of the musical treats residents frequently enjoy.

You can check out Liberty Ridge’s monthly calendar of events at www. libertyridge.com/life-enrichment/ life-enrichment-calendar. About the Author Bruce Maples is the Sales and Community Outreach Coordinator at Liberty Ridge. He has worked with seniors and senior care organizations in a sales/ advisory capacity for the past 33 years. A native of the Gadsden, Ala., area, he has lived in Mt. Sterling for 21 years. He and his wife, Angie, have two daughters, a son and three wonderful grandchildren. bruceamaples @bruce_maples id=100012474464213

There’s always something to


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For advertising information call 859.368.0778 or email brian@rockpointpublishing.com | December 2017

Holiday Skin Care Tips LOOK AND FEEL YOUR BEST DURING THE FESTIVE SEASON By Harleena Singh, Staff Writer The holiday season can take a toll on your skin. From non-stop eating to late-night partying on New Year’s Eve, skin does freak out a little. You may find yourself overwhelmed with stress, party planning and shopping for that perfect outfit. The following tips will help keep your skin looking and feeling its best this holiday season and beyond. Keep your skin clean and moisturized. Before applying foundation, apply an oilfree moisturizer, then apply makeup primer. Remember to keep your foundation brush, beauty blender, contouring brush, eyeshadow brush and other equipment clean. Germs, oil and bacteria accumulate in makeup brushes if they are not cleaned, and that can lead to acne breakouts. Add some shimmer. According to Joyce Carboni, founder and director of Skinsational Skin and Body Spa in San

Diego, you can perk up a tired or sallow complexion with a soft shimmer powder or cream. Stroke it lightly on the tops of your cheeks, bridge of the nose and lips for an instant pick-me-up no matter how tired you feel. Alternatively, use a combination of cream blush and lip balm to add color and moisture. Skip the powder. Even if you usually use powder blush, ditch it in favor of a cream-based blush for the holiday season. Cream blushes create a more natural flush and will not aggravate dried-out skin. Look for a bright, sheer color that blends well for best results. Drink lots of water. People tend to drink more alcohol during the holidays. Waking up the next day dehydrated affects your body and skin. Try to reduce your alcohol intake and drink more than the recommended eight glasses of water a day. If you are having a drink, choose red wine, which has an antioxidant effect on the heart. It’s said if something is good for the heart, it’s good for the skin, too. While over-drinking is never a good idea and may make your skin look worse in the long run, a glass or two of red wine may help keep you looking younger. Exfoliate at least once a week. Women tend to apply more makeup than usual during the holidays to look fabulous. Many opt for a 12-hour foundation to keep their makeup in

place throughout the night. Exfoliating the skin prepares it for a smooth foundation application and removes all the dead skin cells and impurities that can lead to breakouts. You can opt for physical exfoliation with a scrub or chemical exfoliation with enzymes or alpha-hydroxy acids. Remove makeup before going to bed. Leaving it on overnight can clog pores and oil glands and end up causing irritation and blemishes. Exercise every day. Not only is exercise a good stress reliever, it helps increase oxygen to your skin and can keep you looking younger. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, moderate exercise can improve circulation, which in turn can give your skin a more youthful appearance. Get rid of old cosmetics. Bacteria can grow on these products, which is a concern especially in those that are used around the eyes. Generally, you should throw out mascara after about three to four months and foundations after a year (oil-based may last longer). You can get rid of eyeliner and lipstick after two years. Choose healthy foods. Instead of reaching for that extra piece of candy or cake, grab some fruit or salad to help keep your skin looking healthy. What you eat affects your overall health.

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FUNERAL

–COLUMN PROVIDED BY–

Downtown: 159 North Broadway | 859.252.3411 Southland: 391 Southland Drive | 859.276.1415 Man O'War: 1509 Trent Boulevard | 859.272.3414 www.milwardfuneral.com

Finding Hope during the Holiday Season by Kim Wade, Community Relations Director, Milward Funeral Directors Anyone who has experienced a death of a loved one may find the holidays difficult. The season can become filled with feelings of sadness, loss and emptiness. “Society encourages you to join in the holiday spirit, but all around you the sounds, sights and smells trigger memories of the one you love who has died,” said Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D, Director of the Center for Loss and Life Transition “During the holidays it is important to remember to be tolerant and compassionate with yourself.” While there are no set guidelines for coping with the hurt during the holiday’s, Dr. Wolfelt offers several suggestions to help grieving people continue their healing journey during the holiday season.

leave you fatigued. Lower your own expectations about being at your peak physically and mentally during the holiday season.

Talk About Your Grief Don't be afraid to express your feelings of grief. Ignoring your grief won't make the pain go away and talking about it openly often makes you feel better. Identify friends and relatives who understand that the holiday season can increase your sense of loss and allow you to talk openly about your feelings.

Do What Is Right for You During the Holidays Well-meaning friends and family often try to prescribe what is good for you during the holidays. Instead of going along with their plans, focus on what you want to do. Share your needs with your friends and family.

Be tolerant of Your Physical and Psychological Limits Feelings of loss will probably

new ones you would like to begin. Plan out the activities you want to do so you don’t get caught off guard. This can create feelings of panic, fear and anxiety when your feelings of grief are already heightened. Leave room to change your plans if you feel it is appropriate. Embrace Your Treasure of Memories Memories are one of the best legacies that exist after the death of someone loved. And holidays always make you think about times past. Instead of ignoring these memories, share them with your family and friends. Keep in mind that memories are tinged with both happiness and sadness.

Eliminate Unnecessary Stress You may already feel stressed, so don't overextend yourself. Avoid isolating yourself, but be sure to recognize the need to have special time for yourself. Realize also that Express Your Faith merely "keeping busy" won't disDuring the holidays, you may find tract you from your grief, but may actually increase your level of stress. a renewed sense of faith or discover Talk About the Person Who Has Died Include the person's name in your holiday conversation. If you are able to talk candidly, other people are more likely to recognize your need to remember that special person who was an important part of your life.

Plan Ahead for Family Gatherings Decide which family traditions you want to continue and which

a new set of beliefs. Associate with people who understand and respect your need to talk about these beliefs. You may want to attend a holiday service or special religious ceremony. About the Author Kim Wade has been a marketing consultant for more than 20 years specializing in the funeral industry. Currently, she is the Community Relations Director for Milward Funeral Directors, the 37th-oldest continuously operated family business in the United States which operates three locations in Lexington including its Celebration of Life center at 1509 Trent Boulevard. Kim can be reached at marketing@milwardfuneral.com or 859-252-3411.

During the holidays it is important to remember to be tolerant and compassionate with yourself.


Don’t Let Toxic Decorations Dampen Your Holiday Spirit From trees to lights, be aware of potentially harmful products By Angela S. Hoover, Staff Writer Many beloved holiday traditions and products can be toxic. Home decorations are largely unregulated and may legally contain lead or phthalates in quantities the Consumer Product Safety Commission prohibits in children’s products. If a product is not labeled as intended for children, it is not subject to lead, cadmium or phthalate restrictions. Lead exposure is an established risk factor for hypertension, infertility and diminished IQ in children. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention asserts there is no safe level of lead exposure. Phthalates are recognized as endocrine-disrupting chemicals shown to lower testosterone in lab animals and humans. Other metals and flame retardants are linked to asthma, birth defects, learning disabilities, reproductive problems, liver toxicity and cancer. Researchers from The Ecology Center (www.HealthyStuff.org), an environmental non-profit that regularly tests seasonal products, report two-thirds of these products contain one or more hazardous chemicals linked to serious health problems. The center tests tinsel and plastic garlands, stringed lights, wreaths, stockings, figurines and gift bags from Walmart, Target, Walgreens, Kroger, Lowe’s, CVS and Dollar Tree. The study identified lead, flame retardants, tin compounds and phthalates, among other hazardous substances. Light strings consistently showed high levels of lead and bromine. Beaded garlands were found to contain a multitude of toxic contaminants. They are made from recycled plastic material, including waste from electronics. “These products are being used as a dumping ground for old plastic waste, which is loaded with toxic chemicals,” said Jeff Gearhart, a researcher with The Ecology Center. “We estimate a single year’s inventory of Mardi Gras beads may contain up to 900,000 pounds of hazardous flame retardants and 10,000 pounds of lead.” Some people think artificial trees

are more environmentally friendly. Americans spent $1.19 billion on them in 2014. Artificial trees are made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC), a fire-resistant plastic used in construction pipes, toys, medical devices and car interiors. PVC uses metals such as lead, tin or barium as stabilizers. Sometimes PVC contains phthalates. It also releases gases known as volatile organic compounds that can irritate the eyes, nose and lungs. Products made from PVC tend to release more harmful gases as they start to degrade. If you purchase an artificial tree this year, remove it from the box outside and let it air out for as long as possible before bringing it indoors. Look for PVC-free trees made from polyethylene, generally considered safer and not known to leach harmful chemicals. Your safest bet would be to decorate a living, pesticide-free tree, bush or houseplant. Ornaments are often passed down through generations, but many older ornaments were decorated with lead paint. Wear gloves when handling vintage ornaments. Try making homemade ones from paper, fabric or cardboard. Check out www.care2.com for inspiration and instructions. Lights are another safety concern because lead is a common component in vinyl, which is used to coat wiring and bulb sockets. A report from Cornell University found detectable levels of lead in Christmas tree light cords that exceed the limits set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. HealthyStuff found 54 percent of tested lights have more lead than regulators allow in children’s products – some with more than 30 times those levels. These chemicals are often found in household air and dust, so it may be better to string holiday lights outdoors only. Wash your hands immediately after handling lights and don’t allow children to handle them. Or get LED strands that claim to be lead-free.

… decorate a living, pesticide-free tree, bush or houseplant.

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December 2017 | Read this issue and more at www.healthandwellnessmagazine.net | Like us

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“With Today’s Breakthroughs, You No Longer Have To Live With Type 2 Diabetes, Obesity, Fatigue, IBS or Hypertension!" LISA HAMILTON, BEFORE

Lisa Hamilton, age 56 started with Dr. Miller in May 2016. Lisa suffered with Type 2 Diabetes, Over-Weight, Hypertension, IBS, Fatigue and Migraine Headaches. Lisa weighted over 229 lbs. When Lisa came to Dr. Miller, her A1C was 9.6 and she was on oral diabetes medications. After just 5 MONTHS, Lisa’s A1C dropped from 9.6 to 5.4 and she lost over 40 lbs! Her medical doctor said..“ Wow! Keep doing what you’re doing with Dr. Miller!” Q: Lisa, why did you go to Dr. Miller? A: “My husband had heard Jack Pattie, radio host (on 590 AM), talk of Dr. Miller and the results he gets with a variety of conditions. My husband came to Dr. Miller and then referred me. My Type 2 Diabetes was getting worse, my A1C kept going up and I didn’t like taking the medications. I had gained weight and was just not feeling well.” Q: You’ve been seeing other medical doctors for your Type 2 Diabetes, what was it about Dr. Miller that was different? A: “Dr. Miller really does take the time to get a complete history of what exactly was going on in my life history. He treats you as an individual. From the start, Dr. Miller made it clear that something was not working correctly in my body. He showed me how his approach is to uncover and reveal exactly what’s not working right. Dr. Miller really takes the time to listen. He makes it very clear that Type 2 Diabetes, IBS, Fatigue and Obesity are being caused by something. My other doctors just didn’t take the time to do this, they never even talked about what was causing any of these. From the other doctors, all I got was more and more medications. I knew medications were just covering and masking symptoms and not fixing anything. Dr. Miller’s approach made complete sense to me.” Q: What did Dr. Miller do to uncover or reveal what was not

AFTER TRUE HEALTH SOLUTIONS TREATMENT

working correctly inside you? A: “Dr. Miller has an amazing blood panel lab he orders through Lab Corp. After he gets the results, he does a ‘Functional Medicine’ computer assessment that uncovered exactly what was causing my Type 2 Diabetes, IBS, Fatigue and my Overweight. I was very impressed. Q: After Dr. Miller finds what is not working correctly, then what does he do? A: “Dr. Miller just goes over everything so clearly. Dr. Miller really took the time to make sure I understood everything and how it needed to be corrected. He takes the time to show exactly needs to be done, his approach and the type of all natural treatment he recommends in order to fix what is causing my Type 2 Diabetes and my Obesity. It all makes perfect sense once you see everything in very clear terms.” Q: Lisa, what did Dr. Miller recommend for you to eliminate your Type 2 Diabetes and Obesity? A: “Dr. Miller got started right away. First, he laid out a very clear plan of care and all of the goals I was after. I started losing weight slowly, but in just 5 MONTHs I have eliminated Type 2 Diabetes and I’ve lost over 40 lbs! He started off by seeing me frequently to ensure I would eliminate the Diabetes, and he has amazing instructions on life-style improvements to eliminate poor health and then stay healthy. He

just makes it all clear and provides great printed instructions. I’m really happy with how he takes the time and treats me as a client.” Q: What are the results of your treatment from Dr. Miller? A: “My results are remarkable, I’m greatly satisfied! After just 5 MONTHS my M.D. ran my A1C and it is 5.4!

From 9.6 to 5.4 and I’m no longer a diabetic, in 5 MONTHS! My M.D. said.. “Wow, keep doing what Dr. Miller has you doing! I also lost over 40lbs and Dr. Miller teaches you how to keep it off. He really takes the time to show you how to improve your lifestyle so you keep your results over your life time. I highly recommend Dr. Miller and his very unique approach. It’s the Best!”

Integrated Care | Nutrition | Chiropractic Dr. Mark A. Miller, DC and Associates, PLLC

(859) 223-2233

www.TrueHealthSolutionsForYou.com You have the right to rescind within 72 hours any agreement to invest in services that are performed the same day in addition to advertised free services.


For advertising information call 859.368.0778 or email brian@rockpointpublishing.com | December 2017

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MAKERS By Angela S. Hoover, Staff Writer

Gut Bacteria May Determine Who Gets PTSD Scientists have become increasingly aware of the role the gut microbiome plays in physical and mental health. These microbes help metabolize food and medicine, fight infections and influence the brain and brain functioning by producing neurotransmitters, hormones, immuneregulating molecules and bacterial toxins. Conversely, stress and emotions can change the composition of the gut microbiome. Stress hormones can compromise the integrity of the intestinal lining, allowing bacteria and toxins to enter the bloodstream. This can cause inflammation, which has been shown to play a role in several psychiatric disorders. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a serious psychiatric disorder than can develop after a life-threatening trauma. Several factors – living conditions, childhood experiences, genetic makeup – can influence whether someone develops PTSD following a trauma, and now researchers at Stellenbosch University in South Africa are adding gut bacteria to the list. “Our study compared the gut microbiomes of individuals with PTSD to those of people who also experienced significant trauma but did not develop PTSD,” said lead researcher Dr. Stefanie Malan-Muller. “We identified a combination of three bacteria – Actinobacteria, Lentisphaerae and Verrucomicrobia – that were different in people with PTSD.” Individuals with PTSD had significantly lower levels of this trio of bacteria than those without PTSD. Individuals who experienced childhood trauma had lower levels of Actinobacteria and Verrucomicrobia. “What makes this finding interesting is that individuals who experience childhood trauma are at a higher risk of developing PTSD later in life, and these changes in the gut microbiome possibly occurred early in life in response to childhood trauma,” said Malan-Muller, who collaborated with researchers from the University of Colorado Boulder on the study. One of the known functions of these bacteria is immune system regulation. Researchers have noted increased levels of inflammation and altered immune regulation in individuals with PTSD. “Changes in immune regulation and increased inflammation also impact the brain, brain functioning and behavior,” said Malan-Muller. “Levels of inflammatory markers measured in individuals shortly after a traumatic event were shown to predict later development of PTSD. We therefore hypothesize the low levels of those three bacteria may have resulted in immune dysregulation and heightened levels of inflammation in individuals with PTSD, which may have contributed to their disease symptoms.” It is still not known whether this bacterial deficit contributed to PTSD risk or whether it occurred as a consequence of PTSD.

Blood Molecule Attracts Predators, Repels Prey (Including Humans) A molecule in mammal blood known as E2D sends predator animals into a frenzy but frightens humans and prey animals, according to an article in the October issue of the journal Scientific Reports. Never before has a molecule been known to provoke diametrically opposite behaviors in creatures ranging from horse flies to humans. Animals, especially mammals, use their sense of smell to find food and mates and to detect danger. Many of these chemical triggers are specific to one species or work in combination with other scents, but E2D, which gives blood its metallic aroma, is unique. The molecules occur as a byproduct when lipids (fats) in blood break down upon exposure to oxygen. “The odor of blood is characterized by a rare universality,” said senior author Johan Lundstrom, a biologist at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden. In earlier research, scientists isolated E2D from pig’s blood and found wild dogs and tigers were equally attracted to its scent. The team duplicated the experiments with wolves and got the same result. Blood-sucking horse flies were likewise drawn to E2D just as much as they were to animal blood. The scientists reasoned the hunted would react to E2D in a different way. “We hypothesized prey species would be under evolutionary pressure to become sensitive to E2D, to help them avoid an area where a bloodbath is going on,” said Lundstrom. When it came to humans, it only took a tiny dose of E2D – concentrations of less than one part per trillion – to make volunteers react. Subjects exposed to E2D showed signs of stress and fear.

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Health&Wellness December 2017  
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